Over the last two decades, veteran soul and gospel vocalist Shirley Murdock has dreamed up a new career as an actress in the new holiday musical entitled, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Murdock co-stars with R&B veteran Freddie Jackson in the comedy that also features Lisa Page Brooks and Sam Logan. In it, Murdock portrays a feisty pastor’s wife who keeps order in her husband’s church and has her eye on her son being paroled from prison right before Christmas. The musical will be staged at the Newark Symphony Hall (Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall), 1020 Broad Street in Newark, NJ, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. For more information, call (973) 643-8014. All tickets are $38.32. On Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, at 3:30 p.m., the show will make its debut at the famed Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street in New York. Tickets range from $55 to $90. For more information, call (800) 745-3000 or go to www.homeforxmas.com.
Meanwhile, Murdock’s current radio single “Dream” is in the Top 30 of Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. It’s one of a dozen musical chestnuts that Murdock either wrote or co-wrote for her first ever live concert CD “The Journey” (Tyscot Records) that features cameos by R&B divas Kelly Price, Regina Belle and gospel powerhouse Beverly Crawford. This will be Murdock’s second gospel project with Tyscot Records. Her 2007 label debut, Soul Food, included the chart hit “I Love Me Better Than That.” For more information on Murdock, go to www.tyscot.com or to her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/